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A young college graduate is struggling to find a job. He lives in a flat with his younger, employed sister, revolutionary brother and widowed mother. The strain of the situation ultimately causes him to hallucinate.
A rib-tickling comedy about a group of spirits who, in their various idiosyncrasies, try and save their only haunt, their resting place, when some unscrupulous builders try and break it down to build a modern monstrosity.
7 September, 1980. A film crew comes to a village to make a film about a famine, which killed five million Bengalees in 1943. It was a man made famine, a side- product of the war, and the film crew will create the tragedy of those millions who died of starvation. The film documents the convivial life among the film crew and the hazards, problems and tension of film making on location. The actors live a double life, and the villagers, both simple and not-so-simple folk watch their work with wonder and suspicion. But as the film progresses, the recreated past begins to confront the present. The uneasy coexistence of 1943 and 1980 reveals bizarre connection, involving a village woman whose visions add a further dimension of time-that of future. A disturbing situation, indeed, for the "famine-seekers"!Written by
"Cut!, Cut!, Cut!, Cut!" One of the remarkable scenes of the movie is a group of village boys running after the film crew bus shouting and mocking the way the director officially ends a shot. It is apparently, not much and only a 5 sec shot. However, 5 sec is long enough for people like Mrinal Sen to turn an innocent childish errant into much more purposeful. The word symbolically sharply demarcates between what is it in the movie and what is in the reality. The film crew was shooting famine which should have ended with the utterance of "cut" yet it leaks into the other side of the camera even though half century has passed since then and India supposedly progressed a lot. It is a slap and a mockery on the failure of the system done in the most subtle way. If a 5 sec shot can communicate all these, then think of what the full movie can do?
Famine is not about lack of food but it also about lack of morality rather the breakdown of values. Famine unleashes the dormant opportunist in the most corrupt and bigot way. Yet amongst such devastation there could be island, there could be people who despite of the hardship can still be empathetic, can still be humane. The movie is reap with many such examples. That's the reason it is a humanistic movie as Mrinal Sen himself is humanistic intellectual.
Unlike his contemporaries, his movies often end without a definite answer and leave the audience guessing. It is a bold experimentation to deliver a scratching message. The striking characteristic of "Akaler Sandhaney" is also that the making of the movie itself and the process of story telling is done in the most informal way. To the audience it it is more a like documentary capturing a set of unrelated events that happened to a film crew than a a feature film itself. His movies is mainly a feast for the mind, appealing and engrossing to your intellect and less so to your senses.
It has an additional value that it is only handful of movies that reminds us of the 1943 Bengal famine where 5 million people just perished due to lack of food (as mentioned in this movie itself)
Dhirtiman, Smita Patil and Rajen Torofdar (Himself a great director) all deserve special mention without which this review will be incomplete.
A must for the film school
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